McCausland’s death was confirmed in a statement shared to the artist’s Facebook page yesterday (August 9), stating that he had passed away that morning in hospital. “Ian was a true legend and a [pioneer] of Australian music art,” it continued. “His granddaughter Dia will continue to keep his legacy alive by keeping this page, his website, and his work going.”
Throughout the 1970s, McCausland created artwork for many Australian rock acts of the era. Albums he designed the cover art for included Daddy Cool’s 1971 debut ‘Daddy Who? Daddy Cool’, Skyhooks’ ‘Straight in a Gay, Gay World’ and ‘Guilty Until Proven Insane’ and Dragon’s ‘O Zambezi’. He also created the Little River Band’s logo.
McCausland also designed many tour posters throughout the years. The most notable was for the Rolling Stones’ 1973 tour of Australia, in which the Stones’ iconic tongue and lips logo is splashed over Australia on a globe, with a plane headed straight towards it. The poster is arguably McCausland’s most prominent work, with original copies sought after by Stones fans.
See some of McCausland’s work below, and via his website here.
Legendary Aussie designer Ian McCausland passed away this morning. A great loss for Oz music. He created numerous iconic band posters and album covers back in the day. pic.twitter.com/XATpZN1y4Z
— Stanley Johnson (@BrandDNA) August 10, 2022
RIP to the amazing graphic artist Ian McCausland, who left us on the same day as our dear friend Olivia Newton John. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/dGa2DfGFMX
— Rosita Díaz (@RositaDaz48) August 10, 2022
And the Daddy Cool ‘Daddy Who?’ album cover cartoon was also by Ian McCausland RIP (Hanna did the pre-punk title lettering). pic.twitter.com/tQU4W9RPeC
— Ross Wilson (@rosswilsonmusic) August 9, 2022
Ian McCausland, great Australian graphic artist who illustrated my youth, died Tuesday. He produced the masthead for The Digger (Philip Frazer’s Rolling Stone down under mag produced with Gary Hutchinson and Bruce Hanford) which I had the privilege to scribble for once or twice. pic.twitter.com/IMEDBqbJSq
— Dennis Atkins (@dwabriz) August 9, 2022
In Under the Covers, a book about McCausland’s art released in 1998, the artist is quoted saying his work was “very influenced by San Francisco’s psychedelic Fillmore posters, Robert Crumb, and Kelly of Mouse Studios”. McCausland also worked as an Art Director for Australian pop newspaper Go-Set, as well as for Mushroom Records.